What happened?

Thank God this year is nearly over. 2014 felt like a bad party that lasted all year, the kind of party where you turn up late and all the cool people left 20 minutes ago and you’re stuck with maudlin drunk people who don’t dance and only have one beer and a packet of stale crackers left. In 2013 I travelled to new places and made new friends. In 2014, the shiz got real; single mothering became the major focus of my life when my kids barely saw their other parent. These are the edited highlights of my year of slavery:

I dated different men, which became a social experiment rather than an exercise in true love

I finished the HSC (translation: VCE, O levels, graduated from high school). Well, my 17 year old daughter did but I wrote essays, made lots of food and threw some tantrums

Sports uniforms were big this year and the bills for the outfits were even bigger

My middle child completed her first year of high school without me sending her to a maximum security boarding facility for pre teens

I performed in my second solo stand up comedy show “Looking For Mike Brady” at the 2014 Fringe Comedy Festival and my darling friends turned up to laugh with me

I spent another wonderful year being a fool in hospitals in the presence of beautiful families

The Australian dream was flushed down the toilet by the worst federal government in Australian political history

2014 was a year of many tears, I lost too many treasures, “precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,” as Shakespeare put it, passed into the next world way too young. I went to 10 funerals this year. Two funerals were for my mentor and for my teacher, people who are largely responsible for my career. These were the only two funerals I attended that were for people over the age of 50. I learnt the hard way not to take beautiful young people for granted. I want to find a cure for brain cancer.

I found these words in the possessions left behind by one of my darling friends:
Walk slowly,
Water lashing at your toes,
Crane ready to take flight.
Wait for the tide to change

For many of my friends, the Year of the Horse was a year of heartbreak

And the world lost brilliant artists who made our lives happier, including Rik Mayall, Joe Cocker, Clarissa Dickson Wright, Shirley Temple, Alice Herz Sommer, Mickey Rooney, Doc Neeson, Phillip Seymour Hoffmann, Peaches Geldof, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Bob Hoskins, Stella Young and Dr Peter Spitzer who founded the Clown Doctors in Australia

I became an aunty again to a gorgeous girl and a fabulous boy

Two of my beautiful colleagues had babies

I travelled to Queensland to laugh and dance and cry and remember with my Clown Doctor colleagues from around the country

Malala Yousafzai accepted the Nobel Peace Prize and went straight back to her chemistry class

#YesAllWomen became the most viral feminist hashtag of all time

I went to my school reunion and reconnected with old friends who made me laugh out loud

Mary Lambert singing at the Grammys made my eyes wet in 2014

Two planes fell out of the sky breaking more hearts

Horror unfolded as the year came to a close in Sydney, Cairns and Pakistan

Sydneysiders and our visitors poured love and flowers into a memorial site in Martin Place to remember two shining stars we lost and to promote cultural tolerance. Our mission as Australians is now to replace hate with love

What a year! As Michael Clarke said at his best friend Phillip Hughes’ funeral, to honour our loved ones who have passed too early, ‘We must get through to tea, and we must play on.’

10 Comments on “What happened?”

  1. Milou says:

    Best wishes for a much better year. My advice, stay single & enjoy the freedom.

  2. Kelly Noble says:

    I’ll second you on that Lou. Tough year but let’s hope that it can only get better xx

  3. davidbdrake says:

    There is a certain liberating poignancy when life get stripped to its essentials. At the same time, I yearn for a new year with less ‘character-building’. For all who have been forged in the fires…it is time to ‘serve tea’ to paraphrase the final quote so that we can begin anew.

    In that, I celebrate you Lou, the bond our daughters will share forever, and all that makes each of us exquisitely human.

    • loupollard says:

      Yes David! Thank you. May 2015 be the year we embark on a journey of limited personal growth (at least for a few weeks). Hope you and H have a fabulous Christmas and may our paths cross next year

      • davidbdrake says:

        Hi Lou, I am all in for that journey…. What a concept! I actually sense it is finally within my grasp as the fog that has blanketed these past few years lifts. Here’s to relishing the fruits of a rebuilt life!

        I hope to be able to bring Hannah to Australia in 2015. She still misses Amalia among other things there.

        Wishing you true peace, love and joy in 2015.


        What story are you telling? Sent from David Drake’s iPad


  4. loupollard says:

    We would love to see you in 2015 David, love and hugs to you both

    • davidbdrake says:

      My next trip is in March. I will let you know the details once they firm up.

      For some reason, I’ve been thinking of Claire these past few weeks. I miss her… as I’m sure you do even more. I lift the last swig of my Christmas Eve dark ale in her honor and on behalf of the part in all of us that dares to live and dream big!

  5. loupollard says:

    Thoughts of Claire have been all around her loved ones for the last few weeks. Lani’s graduation was very emotional for all of us. Claire certainly knew how to live life large. Hope you had a lovely Christmas

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